Liquid Sky

1983

Liquid Sky

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,636
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Liquid Sky Photos

Movie Info

A glitzy updating of Andy Warhol's Trash with aliens, this campy, stylish, but ultimately depressing film is one of the most keenly observed portraits of New York's early '80s downtown new wave scene. Anne Carlisle, who co-wrote the script, is terrific in a dual role as the wan lesbian Margaret and her arrogant gay nemesis, Jimmy. Tiny space aliens see Margaret shooting up and choose her to feed their heroin-like addiction to a substance produced in the human brain during sexual climax. Her partners end up vaporized, but since most of them treat her like dirt, Margaret doesn't mind. Meanwhile, a German scientist (Otto von Wernherr) has been tracking the plate-sized alien craft and observes it from the apartment of a horny Jewish woman (Susan Doukas); all the while, he is oblivious to her comic frustration and increasingly blatant sexual advances. Despite the sci-fi elements, considerable humor, cool music, and a gorgeous production design, this is really a film about desperation and ugliness. Other than Von Wernherr and Doukas -- who are outside the punk scene -- the characters all loathe themselves and treat each other horribly. Most of their sex involves rape, and when they die, each seems to be better off. Perhaps the bitter aftertaste of this film explains why it never really caught on as a midnight movie, but it is a dark gem and well worth seeing.

Cast

Anne Carlisle
as Margaret/Jimmy
Elaine C. Grove
as Katherine
Jack Adalist
as Vincent
Lloyd Ziff
as Lester
Harry Lum
as Deliveryman
Alan Preston
as Photographer
Christine Hatfull
as Hairstylist
Zora Kerova
as Designer
Calvin Haugen
as Makeup Artist
Deborah Jacobs
as Designer's Assistant
Inansi
as Designer's Assistant
Tom Cote
as Photographer's Assistant
David Ilku
as Designer's Boyfriend
Neke Carson
as Club Manager
Jenifer Chang
as Model in Fashion Show
Vincent Pandoliano
as Model in Fashion Show
Benjamin Liu
as Model in Fashion Show
Angelo
as Model in Fashion Show
Lucille
as Model in Fashion Show
Marcel Fieve
as Make-up Artist
Perry Iannaconi
as Hair Stylist
Rodger Martencen
as Hair Stylist
View All

Critic Reviews for Liquid Sky

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

  • It's punk sci-fi, black comedy executed at the level of a vicious high-fashion comic strip; yet it rises above its banalities and leaves an imprint.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The film might sound ludicrous, and it is often funny - intentionally - but it's impassioned rather than some grim joke.

    Apr 10, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Liquid Sky is an odd, yet generally pleasing mixture of punk rock, science fiction, and black humor.

    Apr 11, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Anne Carlisle, who stars as both the model and her creepy male counterpart, projects a disturbing and original aura of opaque, ingrained despair.

    Apr 11, 2007 | Full Review…
  • A bizarre, often hilarious melee of weird drugs, weird sex and off-the-wall camp SF.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • [This] film, with a heroine who is sometimes a hero and who is apt to show up in a red corset with matching red-and-blond skunk hairdo, can hardly be for everyone. But the right audiences are bound to appreciate the originality displayed here.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for Liquid Sky

  • Jun 03, 2016
    Arguably the most invasive soundtrack ever put to a film. Intriguing that a movie so defined by its music didn't have anything nearly as good to offer as the God Module track it inspired 20 years later, "Transcend". Though the core concept is fascinating and the aesthetics are brilliant, in all honesty, Liquid Sky can be quite difficult to watch.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2010
    Completely bizarre disjointed collection of psychedelic scenes can't even really be called a film at least in the narrative sense.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2010
    What a trip! I saw this when I was a wide-eyed kid & it blew me away utterly. I had never seen anything like it. I remember thinking to myself whilst watching it : "Hey, maybe I COULD make a movie after all!!" Don't expect much linear narrative here....this film is all about STYLE....& it explores this theme using a chaotic story about NY junkies & visiting aliens who are after human endorphins released in the brain during orgasm. Oh, yes, & the lead hero & heroine are played by the same mesmerisingly exquisite actress....see, I told you it wouldn't make much sense. Just sit back, crank up the volume for the awesome soundtrack & ENJOY!!
    mirabella 1 Super Reviewer
  • Dec 06, 2009
    This was meant to appeal to that warhol-ish, "fuck me, im original." crowd. but if this was a book, and it looks like it might have been, then it wouldn't be very shocking at all since the characters talk like the kids in the hall in one of their bitchy, whatever sketches. your brain has to have a hole in it big enough to shove applesauce into with a wooden spoon if you have any hope of knowing what the fuck the movie means. anyway, its nice and pretty. and original and shit... once you see it you'll realize "oh, so Lady Gaga DID'NT come up with the idea for those ugly stupid costumes?"
    Coxxie M Super Reviewer

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